Rose Under Fire

by Elizabeth Wein

Rose is a young American pilot working with the Air Transport Auxiliary in Britain... read more

Rose is a young American pilot working with the Air Transport Auxiliary in Britain during World War II. After attempting to knock a Doodlebug (unpiloted flying bomb) off course, she is corralled by two German planes, captured, and imprisoned at the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Rose's survival is dependent on her fellow prisoners, who are experienced in the scrabbling and subterfuge, bartering and brazenness necessary to live another day in that place. Among them are "Rabbits"-women who are survivors of medical experimentation at the hands of Nazi doctors. Some of them are severely disfigured or crippled; all bear wounds that can't be seen. But they are ferocious in their determination that the stories of what they endured will make it beyond the walls of Ravensbruck and out into the world. Elizabeth Wein's tense companion to Code Name Verity (U.S. edition: Hyperion, 2012) explores another dimension of women's experience in Europe during World War II. The narrative follows Rose to liberation, where the courage of the "Rabbits" as the Nuremberg Trials commence help Rose continue her journey toward healing, and search for justice. One of the many pleasures in this taut read is the incorporation of poetry. It is a way Rose's spirit remains free during her imprisonment, and becomes something she can offer other prisoners. An author's note provides information on the historical events into which this fictional story is embedded, including some of the real people who inspired a number of characters. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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